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LITHUANIAN COMPETITION AUTHORITY TERMINATES INVESTIGATION INTO SUSPECTED BID-RIGGING

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The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba decided to terminate an investigation into the compliance of actions of undertakings involved in public procurements for the construction and reconstruction of quays and other objects with the Law on Competition and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The investigation was launched in September 2018 after receiving initial information from the Special Investigation Service allowing to suspect that the Latvian companies Latvijas tilti and BMGS, as well as the Lithuanian firms Hidrostatyba and Borta may have concluded a bid-rigging agreement by participating in public procurements for the construction and reconstruction of quays and other objects. During the investigation inspections were carried out at the premises of part of the alleged companies, explanations were received from representatives of suspected undertakings and other persons, information and explanations were collected from various state institutions.

On 10 May 2021 Vilnius Regional Court issued a binding ruling recognising that the decision of Klaipėda District Prosecutor's Office allowing to transfer part of the pre-trial investigation data to the competition authority was unlawful, therefore, Konkurencijos taryba removed the aforementioned information from the case material. Since the remaining evidence was not sufficient to establish an infringement, the authority decided to terminate the investigation.

The decision of Konkurencijos taryba can be appealed to Vilnius Regional Administrative Court.